We arrived into Dallas on a standard Summer evening with the temperature hovering around 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). This triple digit temperature seems only appropriate for the relentless and intense heat that is Dallas at this time of the year.
We were greeted at the airport by David, Cam’s cousin who we would be staying with along with his lovely girlfriend Courtney and 12 week old Boston Terrier, Daisy. It’s always so exciting to be met by someone familiar at the airport, but to then be greeted by a traditional home-cooked Texan meal and to be accommodated in a lovely home - we truly felt spoilt.
David and Courtney were fantastic hosts during our entire week’s stay, kindly playing tour guide on several occasions. We visited the football stadium of the Dallas Cowboys. This place is ridiculous; it seats 100,000, has the world’s largest LCD screen, multiple restaurants and bars, and to top it all a retractable roof.
We were there to watch the Cowboys’ pre-season training – though to be honest we spent far more time gawking at the magnificent interior of the Stadium.
This was followed by an awesome feed at a local Tex-Mex restaurant. With crazy Texan décor, a merry waitress with an accent so thick we could barely understand, and all you can eat corn chips and salsa - this place was definitely good times!
We spent the remainder of the week catching up on sleep, laundry, and planning our road trip which we would be doing over the next couple of months. In order to kit ourselves out for this adventure we visited the wonderful WalMart and purchased a bunch of stuff including tent, mattress, and other essential camping gear. All for a price about a third of what you would pay at home, the sad truth of a shop that has taken over the country and of course pushed out the little guy (but we loved it). We also purchased the most essential item of the trip, a car. A lovely 2001 Ford Focus, colour : champagne.
After a bit of TLC by the boys who changed the spark plugs, oil and filter, and gave her a good old lube she will hopefully see us through the many thousands of miles we intend to travel over this mighty country.
On the weekend we all took a trip south to Austin. On the drive down we got to see a bit more of the state; some farm land but mainly a continuum of gas stations, truck stops and fast food joints. Attending a party on Saturday evening we met a lovely bunch of Austin locals and enjoyed more good food.
On Sunday we took in the sights of this truly eclectic city. Our journey took us from the pristine waters of Barton Springs, to the quirky shops of Southern Congress (where we visited the biggest Western Boot store ever-jeepers!), to the Salt Lick- a traditional Texan BBQ restaurant where we tucked into a delicious assortment of smoky meat for lunch.
The restaurant proved very popular with a police officer required to direct traffic at the entrance and the helicopter of a patron parked in the neighbouring paddock.
We thoroughly enjoyed our taste of Austin, it really had a great feel to it and the people were super friendly. With a city that caters to musicians, hippies, cowboys , and the downtown professional in one space, it is hard to go wrong!
We will hit the road Monday morning for the week, heading east to Memphis and on to Nashville.